A grieving mother orca whale carried her dead baby.
It was a heartbreaking effort by the mom to keep her dead baby alive.
The mom had been doing this for seven days and did shortly after her baby was born..
And now whale researchers are concerned about the mom’s well-being.
And experts are saying that the mom was showing her grief at losing the baby orca.
J35, or Tahlequah, gave birth the morning of July 24 to the calf, which lived for only one half-hour. She has refused to let go of it ever since, carrying the infant either by one fin, or pushing it through the water on her head.
Barbara King, professor emeritus of anthropology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, says it wouldn’t be going too far to say the animal is experiencing profound emotions at the loss of its calf, not unlike a human would.
While all of this was happening, the pod that the mother was travelling with stayed by her side.
But gradually the mom fell behind and could not keep up with her pod.
The baby orca – born in Puget Sound off Seattle, Washington – was the first one to be born in three years.
Orca’s are part of a dwindling population in the Puget Sound area.
In fact, there are only 75 of these orca’s left.
The last researchers saw of the mom was off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia.
She was seen propping the dead newborn on her forehead, trying to keep it bobbing near the surface of the water.